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VAX 3100 MODEL 80

Frequent Advisor

VAX 3100 MODEL 80

Hello All,
At work we have a Vax 3100 model 80, still running strong. I wonder if there is any link that I can shop for more memory and hard drive for this machine. I current have 3 Rz25 and can I install a seagate st31051n harddrive to it, or I need RZ drive ? Or even a complete system for back up just in case it give up on us.
Thanks !
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 3100 MODEL 80


You should make sure you have a reliable backup before changing anything. That means standalone! Do not trust a backup taken with /IGNORE=INTERLOCK.

You haven't said what version of OpenVMS you're running. That may constrain the type of drives you can use.

Some models of 3100 had a ~1GB limit to the size of system disk they could boot from. The 3100 might not be affected, check the openVMS FAQ for the full details.

OpenVMS V6.2 and lower had a limit of around 8GB for a single volume.

The case and drive bays of the 3100 were not necessarily designed to cope with the power requirements and heat generation from larger capacity drives. Check the original options available for that particular model, I wouldn't recommend going beyond one generation later (so, for example, if the available options were RZ26 - 1GB drives, you could probably get away with RZ28 - 2GB drives, but probably NOT RZ29 - 4GB). If the system is in a machine room with air conditioning, you might be able to stretch that a bit.

Note that none of the S's in "SCSI" stand for "standard", so although a random SCSI drive *might* work, it's not necessarily guaranteed, and even if it appears to work, it might fail under stress. The RZ drives were qualified, so they're your best shot.

A completely different option... you could replace the VAX with an Alpha DS10 running Charon VAX. Your software stays the same (boot Charon VAX from an image backup of your existing disk), but the hardware is upgraded and you have access to much larger drives - anything that's qualified for a DS10.
A crucible of informative mistakes
Karl Rohwedder
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 3100 MODEL 80


if the VAX needs more memory than the standard,
a company called NEMONIX produces VAX enhancements like memory expansions, 100Mbit Ethernet and UltraSCSI controller, but they are not cheap (a CHARON VAX may be the better solution), link: http://www.nemonixengineering.com

On the diskside, we are running 2 IBM DCAS-34330 (4GB) as shadowsets in a VAXstation 4000-90 (the hardware is more or less like a mVax 3100-80) for some years now without trouble.

mfg Kalle
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 3100 MODEL 80

for my experience on vax 3100 can work only rz family disks not seagate hard disk.

You can find any vms hardware at http://www.hpaq.net (island)

Antonio Vigliotti
Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Daniel Fernandez Illan
Trusted Contributor

Re: VAX 3100 MODEL 80

For my experience VAx 3100 support some models of seagate disks but I thinks (I don't remember exactly) that these disks, used by VAX 3100 models had a capacity limit of 2 GB.
Saludos "Desde un lugar de la Mancha" (400 years ago)
John Hyde_2
Occasional Visitor

Re: VAX 3100 MODEL 80

This is a little late. However the digital drive has a Seagate bowl but a specific Digital f/w board and must be in this configuration to work. We specialise storage and sell a lot of RZ drives all over the world. You must be very careful as some on the quality in the broker market is very poor and only buy with at least 6 months warranty. As for backup/extended storage you could look at BA35X raid configs or go for tape backup, originally these would have been the TK50 or TK70 DLT's, I'm not sure if the 3100 supports any higher capacity tapes. Hope this helps...cheers John